Henan FC defender, Gu Cao, has issued a heartfelt apology to Ghanaian international Frank Acheampong in the aftermath of a distressing racist incident during the match against Shenzhen FC.
The regrettable event took place during the Chinese Super League Match Day 19 fixture between Shenzhen FC and Henan Songshan on Friday, where Frank Acheampong, a former Black Stars regular, was unfortunately subjected to a racial slur, which deeply affected him.
In response to the incident, an official statement from Shenzhen FC condemned the behavior and actions that led to Frank Acheampong’s emotional reaction and subsequent red card.
Gu Cao, the offender in question, acknowledged his wrongdoings and extended a sincere apology to Frank Acheampong at the conclusion of the game. According to the club statement from Shenzhen FC, Gu Cao used racially offensive language, including derogatory remarks like “Black man” and other hurtful words during the match.
The situation escalated when Frank Acheampong, facing continuous and extremely offensive insults, lost control of his emotions and reacted by striking Gu Cao, which resulted in his red card.
However, following the incident, the coaches and players of the Shenzhen team intervened, reporting the situation to the referee and questioning Gu Cao severely. The game was paused for nearly 10 minutes to address the seriousness of the matter.
After the match, Frank Acheampong sought out Gu Cao in the player exit channel, where the defender finally “sincerely apologized” and admitted his wrongdoing.
“In the Chinese Super League match between the Shenzhen team and the Henan team on the evening of July 28, Frank Acheampong, a foreign aid from the Shenzhen team, scored 50 points at the 32nd point of the game.
“From the second to the 33rd minute and 12th second, the Henan team player Cao Gu more than one instance of racially offensive language, including “Black man”, “F*cking black man” and so on,” the club statement from Shenzhen FC said.
It continued, “Facing continuous insults of extremely bad nature, Frank Acheampong lost control of his emotions and hit Gu Cao, and was sent off by the referee with a red card.
“Since then, the coaches and players of the Shenzhen team have stepped forward to the referee, reported the situation and questioned Gu Cao severely, and the game was interrupted for nearly 10 minutes.
“Frank Acheampong, who did not wait for an apology on the spot, found Gu again in the player exit channel after the game. Cao finally “sincerely apologized” to Frank Acheampong, admitting “I must be wrong.”
Despite the upsetting incident, Frank Acheampong has received overwhelming support, and he is determined to move forward and continue playing for his club, putting this unfortunate incident behind him.
It is crucial that such incidents are condemned, and steps are taken to foster a more inclusive and respectful environment in football and society as a whole.